Q&A: Know Your Crew


KYC.pngIn August, Know Your Crew and Hogan X formed a partnership to advance and revolutionize team building. In combining Know Your Crew’s platform that improves team dynamics with Hogan’s decades of research and team analytics, both organizations aim to maximize their strengths to improve the global workforce.

Still in the product development stage of the new partnership, we caught up with Know Your Crew co-founder and CEO Alison Bloom-Feshbach and Dave Winsborough, the head of Hogan X, for latest news on the partnership and what the future holds for team building.

Q: Since the announcement of the partnership in Summer 2016, how have things progressed from a product development standpoint?

Dave: Know Your Crew and Hogan X developed a short version of our personality tools that is being coded on the Know Your Crew platform right now. When released, it will provide individual team members with a snapshot of how they show up at work and in teams.

Alison: Integrating Hogan’s personality tools into Know Your Crew makes the product an even more powerful driver of strong team dynamics; the goal is to make personality insights easily digestible and quickly actionable. For example, we’re working on an algorithm that will pair personality data with Know Your Crew data to serve up personalized tips to help improve interactions with teammates.

Q: Because of the steady rise of remote teams in the workforce, how can Know Your Crew and Hogan X differentiate from the competition in the team building space?

Alison: Know Your Crew does more than help teams build relationships! Our analytics measure team fitness: how well teammates know each other and how easy it is for them to step into each other’s shoes. We also make it easy for managers to understand the team experience – and take action to improve it.

Dave: That’s easy – there is no one doing what Know Your Crew is! They are truly the world leaders at automated team building. Companies who want to improve team dynamics and performance at scale should use Know Your Crew.

Q: Both Know Your Crew and Hogan X bring different strengths to the table. Can you discuss the mutual benefits each company offers the other?

Alison: Know Your Crew uses gamification to increase awareness of individual and shared preferences, habits, and needs. Understanding the interaction between different personalities is critical to making sense of team relationships – and Hogan’s team personality analytics offer a uniquely rigorous framework for predicting how teams operate at their best and at their most stressed.

Dave: We built the Hogan Team Report to identify the team strengths and weakness in terms of five roles that determine effectiveness: results, relationships, processes, ideas, and pragmatics. Plus, it shows the extent to which team member values match and predicts the issues team members may face with each other. Integrated into the Know Your Crew platform, that’s a powerful tool.

Q: Many HR and talent management experts say that effective leaders are able to build and maintain a high-performing team. In your experience, how have leaders embraced that philosophy?

Alison: The best leaders are obsessed with the individuals who make up their teams. They energize and excite their people and it’s contagious! When leaders show genuine interest in connecting with and engaging their teams, teammates are compelled to do the same. Unfortunately, many young managers lack the tools and training to model this type of behavior.

Dave: It’s a fail from the X perspective. Too few leaders grasp that their role is to help the team be successful, not do the job themselves. Too frequently they are out of touch with the team’s condition, and we can absolutely help that.

Q: From a historical perspective, teams have played a huge role in shaping society. Can you elaborate as to why that’s the case?

Dave: Simple. Humans evolved as group living animals. Cooperation at the level of a family, a tribe, or a band of warriors helped that group compete against predators, the environment, or even other tribes. Working effectively together is the adaptation that catapulted humanity’s progress forward. In the modern world of sports or business, nothing has changed – we need to cooperate in teams to achieve and win.

Alison: There are numerous studies to back that up! People who have strong social connections live longer, happier lives. And of course this is true in the workplace as well. There’s a good reason why seed-stage venture capitalists say the founding team is even more important than the product!

Q: What does the future of team building look like to you?

Alison: It looks data-driven – and reaches across time zones, languages, and cultures.

Dave: A lot like Know Your Crew.